Herschell Gordon Lewis – The Godfather of Gore on Criterion Channel

Herschell Gordon Lewis was a filmmaker with the mind of a promoter, which only makes sense coming from his background of marketing and salesmanship. So when he saw an opportunity, he pounced. After jumping into filmmaking with a series of “nudie cutie” sexploitation films, he and producer David F. Friedman inaugurated an entirely new genre […]

Warren Oates is ‘Dillinger’ on Amazon Prime Video

John Dillinger was the most notorious of the Depression-era gangsters and his exploits (and attendant newspaper coverage) made him a romantic anti-hero to many of the folks who felt betrayed by the bankers and businessmen of the country. Dillinger (1973), the directorial debut of John Milius, plays on that image of the gentleman gangster who […]

Kyle MacLachlan and Michael Nouri in the film by Jack Sholder

Cult Blu-ray: ‘Basket Case,’ ‘Ichi the Killer,’ ‘Macon County’ justice, and ‘The Hidden’ with Kyle Maclachlan

Basket Case (Arrow, Blu-ray) Ichi the Killer (Well Go, Blu-ray) Macon County Line (Shout! Factory, Blu-ray) The Hidden (Warner Archive, Blu-ray) Basket Case (1982), the debut feature of filmmaker Frank Henenlotter, is a gruesome little cult indie-horror drama of brotherly love and righteous vengeance shot on location in the seedier sections of New York City. […]

Jessica Harper in Dario Argento's landmark giallo

Profundo Argento: ‘Suspira,’ ‘Cat O’ Nine Tails,’ ‘Deep Red,’ ‘Opera,’ and ‘The Church’ in new Blu-ray editions

Suspiria (Synapse, Blu-ray) The Cat O’ Nine Tails (Arrow, Blu-ray+DVD Combo) Deep Red (Arrow, Blu-ray) Opera (Scorpion, Blu-ray) The Church (Scorpion, Blu-ray) Dario Argento was the master choreographer of the distinctly Italian art of horror known as giallo, was a baroque, often sadistic kind of slasher movie that favors intricately-designed murder sequences and aesthetic beauty […]

Giuliano Gemma (billed as Montgomery Wood) as Ringo in the spaghetti westerns from Dessario Tessari

Spaghetti Blu-ray: A pair of ‘Ringo’s and ‘A Fistful of Dynamite’

A Pistol for Ringo/The Return of Ringo: Two Films by Dessario Tessari (Arrow, Blu-ray) A Fistful of Dynamite (Kino Lorber, Blu-ray) Duccio Tessari is not one of the directors known for spaghetti westerns. In fact, he only directed two in his long and successful career, both with Giuliano Gemma (billed as Montgomery Wood) playing against […]

Nieves Navarro and Simon Andreu star in Luciano Ercoli's classic giallo from Italy.

‘Death Walks at Midnight’ – Giallo meets high fashion on Amazon Prime

Death Walks at Midnight (Italy, 1972) is not actually a sequel to Death Walks on High Heels (1971) but in the proudly opportunistic tradition of Italian genre pictures it recalls an earlier success and director Luciano Ercoli he reunites his team of collaborators.This time around, Nieves Navarro (under the screen name Susan Scott) is a […]

Nieves Navarro, Frank Wolff, and Simon Andreu star in Luciano Ercoli's classic giallo from Italy

‘Death Walks on High Heels’ – Voyeurs and killers on Amazon Prime

Luciano Ercoli isn’t the most well-known or prolific directors in the distinctly Italian giallo genre of horror films but he made his mark with a pair of sleek and sexy and stylish films with Spanish actress Nieves Navarro (under the screen name Susan Scott) and leading man Simón Andreu and screenwriters Ernesto Gastaldi and Mahnahén […]

‘Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key’ on Amazon Prime

Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key (Italy, 1972), directed by Sergio Martino and ostensibly inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat,” stars the voluptuous, dark-eyed beauty Edwige Fenech, the sex bomb of giallo, in what was (in the words of genre film historian Justin Harries) “Her finest and […]